Every year, thousands of people in Utah suffer head injuries, or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

A TBI is caused by some kind of blow, jolt, or other injury to the head. Even a concussion is considered a TBI. TBI symptoms vary widely from “mild” to “severe” and may affect a person’s ability to work, go to school, or participate in social activities. A TBI can have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to lead an active, fulfilling life.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) have many different causes, signs and symptoms.

While TBIs are all caused by some kind of blow, jolt, or other injury to the head, every TBI is unique. Even a concussion its considered a TBI. Your symptoms may be very different from those of others who have had a similar injury. Understanding some of the things you might experience can help reduce stress during a challenging time. Be sure to talk to your doctors and other health-care providers about any new or changing symptoms.

In 2013-2014:

  • Among all Utahns, sports/recreation-related TBIs were the most common among those aged 0-14.
  • 80% of sports/recreation-related TBIs occurred among Utah males.
  • An estimated 80% of Utahns who were hospitalized for a skateboard, rollerblade, snow sport, or OHV/ATV-related TBI in 2013-2014 were NOT wearing a helmet at the time of their injury.
  • Among all Utahns, transportation-related TBIs were the most common among those aged 15-24.
  • Motor vehicle crashes attributed to 61.1% of TBI-related hospitalizations.
  • The causes of transportation-related TBI hospitalizations and deaths during Utah were:
    • Motor vehicle crashes (61.1%)
    • Motorcycle crashes (17.7%)
    • Pedestrian (15.4%)
    • Bicycle crashes (5.8%)

Most common causes of TBI hospitalizations and deaths in Utah:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Bicycle crashes

Do you know someone who has experienced a TBI?

Every TBI needs to be taken seriously and treated by medical professionals (even a mild concussion) as symptoms can worsen and major complications can arise days, weeks, or even months after the initial injury—often with little warning.

Possible signs of a TBI:

  • Headache or neck pain that won’t go away
  • Blurred vision
  • Lack of energy, constantly feeling tired
  • Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Loss of balance
  • Pain caused by loud noises or bright lights

Possible TBI-related behavior changes:

  • Feeling easily irritated, sad, or anxious
  • Feeling confused or easily getting lost
  • Slow in thinking, speaking, or reading
  • Difficulty getting organized or paying attention
  • Difficulty making decisions or solving problems
  • Forgetting things that happened days (or minutes) ago

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are many ways to reduce the risk of a TBI.

  • Wear a properly fitting helmet during activities like motorcycling, biking, ATVing, horseback riding, and during sporting activities.
  • Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car.
  • Minimize hazards in the home that can lead to falls.
  • Exercise to maintain strength and balance and help prevent falls.